Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are we doomed to be wrong?

I keep reading things that suggest that because of the way human brains work and the limits of our experiences, we are usually wrong about any important issue we form an opinion about.

Whether it's Xerographica talking about the blind men groping an elephant, or Cracked.com's list of the 5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think, I feel I am getting signals from all sides saying that little old me has no chance to ever discover the truth. Either my perspective will be too limited or my brain will deceive me.

But I know that's not completely true.

Sure, I may be blind, feeling only one part of an elephant (and she'd be enjoying it, too), but I don't stand in one place for long. In moving around I would quickly get a clue that things were not as they seemed at first.

And, if everyone is being deceived by their own logical fallacies then they have as little chance of being right from the start as I do. If my ideas are wrong, then chances are those who disagree with me the most are also wrong. As long as I keep listening and testing my ideas, I will at least keep up with those who think differently about the issues. Eventually one of us, out of all of us, will find reality. If you find reality it isn't a good idea to change your mind later just because a lot of people disagree with you. Reality stands up.

One thing that suggests to me that I am at least on the right track is that I now accept some things that I once found absolutely abhorrent. But I heard them (or realized them), I tested them, and they passed, so I accepted them and was forced to adapt in order to be right.

Because being right- seeing reality as it actually is- is important to me. And I do think there is an objective reality and the universe isn't just a subjective guessing game.